ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday telephoned Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Co-chair Bill Gates to discuss the current coronavirus situation and the polio eradication drive in the country, ARY News reported.
During the telephonic conversation, matters of mutual interest, ways to mitigate the pandemic’s impact on the economy and health, polio eradication drive, Ehsaas programme and other issues were discussed.
Imran Khan apprised Bill Gates about the government’s policy to contain the spread of coronavirus in the country. He said that the government saved people from hunger and the deadly virus by imposing smart lockdown.
The government was committed to deal with the second wave of the COVID-19, the prime minister said, adding that they were facing difficulties in enforcing SOPs this time.
“Polio eradication is among the top priorities of the government,” he said and added that they expedited the anti-polio campaign in the country. The prime minister commended the Gates Foundation’s strong advocacy for the provision of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines to all developing countries.
On the occasion, Bill Gates acknowledged Pakistan’s efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic while stimulating economic growth.
Earlier on November 13, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Bill Gates, in a telephonic conversation, had discussed Pakistan’s Covid-19 response and resumption of the polio eradication campaign, said Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) in a statement.
According to the army’s media wing, Bill Gates had conveyed his appreciation for the Pakistan Army for supporting the national polio drive and ensuring proper reach and coverage of polio campaigns that year, particularly through the involvement of community leaders and influencers.